Bohn will have to rebuild department

Updated: April 13, 2005, 4:26 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado introduced Mike Bohn as its new athletic director Wednesday, turning the task of rebuilding the department to a lifetime administrator who has helped turn around programs at San Diego State and Idaho.

Bohn, 44, takes over the job vacated when Dick Tharp resigned under pressure last year amid scandals that surrounded the football program and contributed to the departures of the school president and chancellor.

Bohn acknowledged the problems and called Colorado "a diamond that needs to be polished up a little."

Interim chancellor Phil DiStefano said he was recommending to the Board of Regents a five-year contract worth $250,000 a year with incentives that could add up to $100,000 a year more. The regents are expected to approve Bohn's hiring at an April 27-28 meeting.

DiStefano said Bohn will have ultimate authority over the athletic department, including the power to hire and fire coaches.

Bohn said football coach Gary Barnett's job is secure.

"I expect him to be the great leader football coaches are supposed to be," Bohn said.

This is a homecoming for Bohn, who grew up in Boulder and played football, basketball and baseball at Boulder High.

He has worked in athletics at the state's two other major Division-I programs, Air Force and Colorado State. He was athletic director at Idaho from 1999-2003 and had the same job at San Diego State for 18 months before accepting the position at CU.

He said the lure of coming home was too strong to turn down.

"The hometown is a bonus," Bohn said. "It's the tradition of the institution that makes it so viable."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press